Friday, August 19, 2005

Truth and Bullshit

Here's an interesting essay/review from The New Yorker about Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit, Simon Blackburn's Truth: A Guide, and the difference between liars and bullshitters (the former care about the truth but want to lead away from it, the latter have complete disregard for truth).

1 comment:

Einzige said...

This section resonated with me:

"How would one defend philosophers like Hegel or Heidegger from the charge that their writings are bullshit? Not, Cohen says, by showing that they cared about the truth (which would be enough to get them off the hook if they were charged with being bullshitters under Frankfurt's definition). Rather, one would try to show that their writings actually made some sense."

As a part of trying to better understand and appreciate Max Stirner I picked up a copy of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. My copy has a line-by-line analysis of the text by some philosopher--at least I presume he's a philosopher. I was struck by the fact that this guy's "analysis" was just as incomprehensible as Hegel's discourse. I gave up on it after about 20 pages. Go ahead and call me a moron, I guess.